With “Kobe en L.A.,” Jhay Cortez—the hit-maker behind all your favorite songs—emerges as the leader of the Latin movement.
Jhay Cortez learned English in second grade. When he was just 11 years old, the avid Eminem fan wrote his first songs. And a decade later he was officially in the reggaeton mix, writing hits like Cardi B’s “I Like It,” Natti Natasha’s “Criminal” and J Balvin and Bad Bunny’s Oasis album. Now the behind-the-scenes song-writing master is finding his place in front of the camera. “There’s people who take a really long time to discover [what they want to do], but not me,” says the Puerto Rican singer. This summer, Cortez released the single “Dime a Ve” (Tell Me), which debuted at the top of YouTube’s global trending positions and generated more than 7 million views within a week of its release. It was a return to his Boriqua roots, and set the stage for a stellar run. Next came “Dákiti” with Bad Bunny, where the Puerto Rican duo partied on a megayacht, piloted personal submarines and sang about all the beautiful girls they love. “Dákiti” is the No. 1 song globally according to Spotify and Apple Music. Now, “Kobe en L.A.” is perhaps his most forward-thinking move yet: a dark, spooky and provocative tribute to the late NBA Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant, whom Cortez worshipped as a teen. “I’m really a fan of Kobe’s mentality and what he left behind: his legacy. And that’s what I really respect about him more than anything,” says the singer. “It’s more than just the game.”
The artwork for “Kobe en L.A.,” which will be featured on Cortez’s forthcoming sophomore album, Timelezz
Photography by: all photos courtesy of universal music group